What? You didn’t know about either? Sorry, I must not have been doing my job. Here’s both, in a nutshell.
Industry rap giant Jay-Z has joined the ranks of those boycotting high end champagne company Cristal, in response to the negative comments made by Frederic Rouzaud, managing director of Louis Roderer Cristal.
In a special summer edition of The Economist magazine, Rouzaud commented on the Hip-Hop community’s patronage of the champagne brand in an article titled “Bubbles and Bling.”
Rouzaud stated that he observed the rap community’s constant patronage of the pricey drink with “curiosity and serenity.”
Rouzaud further stated that other brands like Dom Perignon and Krug “would be delighted to have their business.”
Jay-Z has announced that he will no longer support or distribute Cristal champagne at his 40/40 sports bar/restaurant.
“It has come to my attention that the managing director of Cristal, Frederic Rouzaud views the ‘Hip-Hop’ culture as ‘unwelcome attention,'” said Jay-Z. “I view his comments as racist and will no longer support any of his products through any of my various brands including The 40/40 Club nor in my personal life.”
Hmph. ‘Bout time. Plus Jay-Z’s got his own brand of liquor—Armadale Vodka—so it should have been about nothing but that in his music to begin with. Marketing 101, baby. Straight up-and-down. To thine own products be true.
But I digress.
Now, on to the (allegedly) crookalicious Jacob the Jeweler.
[…] a drug operation under the name the “Black Mafia Family” and allegedly transported and distributed thousands of kilos of cocaine across state lines. The 41 year-old Arabo, whose name is spelled several different ways in the papers, was named in the Detroit indictment. The indictment seeks forfeiture of more than 30 pieces of jewelry, in addition to a number of residences and cars.
Arabo, a Russian immigrant, opened his store in Manhattan’s midtown diamond district in 1981, and a visit by hip-hop artist Faith Evans in the mid-1990s proved to be the catalyst for his career as jeweler to a galaxy of rappers and actors. Evans introduced Arabo’s gold- and diamond-heavy creations to her husband, the late Notorious B.I.G., and thereafter Jacob the Jeweler quickly became not just a baublemaker but an icon and a symbol of attainment in the fiercely brand-obsessed hip-hop universe. His name appeared in hip-hop lyrics and even in a Def Jam video game.
In 2004, Arabo announced a partnership with Kanye West to produce a line of religious-themed jewelry, and that same year, Cartier filed suit against Arabo, claiming that he had modified their products illegally. The May 2006 cover of Vogue magazine featured actress Keira Knightley wearing a pair of Arabo’s diamond earrings.
Oh well. I, for one, got way tired of hearing “Jacob the Jeweler” in every damn hip-hop song, and I always thought those gigantic pieces of gaudy, blinged-out jewelry were way over the top. Especially those frightful Jesus pieces.